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Exploring Time

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Published Jan 18, 2018 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 20 Contributors

    24 photos selected by

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    This image captures about an hour of firefly activity, and the movement of the stars from the roa...

    #silhouette #night #beetles #insects #firefly #fireflies #star_trails

    In this assignment about exploring time, we asked the Your Shot community to surprise us – and astonish you did!  With almost 10,000 entries, you gave us the tough but pleasurable task of editing your submissions – to a final 24 wonderful photographs for the published story, visualizing your concepts of time. 

    You sought out and captured amazing moments of magic in the night sky, found poetic stillness in the early morning hours, and even turned mundane tasks like getting a haircut or doing homework into impressive images – all with impeccable framing, attention to detail, and decisive timing. 

    A brilliant moon lights a stranded iceberg along the Jökulsárlón Lagoon beach as aurora fill the ...

    #ice #night #stars #glacier #sand #beach #iceland #jokulsarlon #moon #northern_lights #iceberg #aurora

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 12:19AM The iceberg seems to reach out to the moon, while the northern lights lyrically cast a magical spell across the sky. This is a dance for the ages.

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Most of my shots don't require too much planning. This one however was weeks of planning and wait...

    #night #mountain #stars #milky_way #broken_top #long_exposure #waterfall

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 3:15 AM. Good photographs are often dependent on interesting juxtapositions - and in this image, a specific moment in time was required for the Milky Way to align beautifully with the w... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Your photographs made time stand still and stand out, in such a great variety of ways – so bravo to all that contributed.


    You brought us into your lives in such intriguing ways, and we can’t thank you enough for that privilege. “Exploring Time,” with all of you was truly special, gratifying, and inspirational.

    This picturesque wave of fog was both moonlit and street-lit as it poured over a hill in Mill Val...

    #landscape #night #california #weather #nightphotography #longexposure #fog #nature

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 4:58AM We love that you rose to the challenge of this assignment by photographing in the wee hours of the morning. You have captured a magical moment ... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    For years, I drove past that tree I have never stopped to photograph it, but finally I stopped an...

    #landscape #sunrise #mountain #outdoor_adventure #beautiful #morning #field #tree #fog #slovenia

    Editor's Note

    Image Tme: 6:20 AM The early morning mist, and low angle of the sun are such distinct markers for this magical time of day. All the elements come together here in th... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Beautiful sunrise from Niagara Falls. This was taken last December 27, 2016 at around 7:15AM in t...

    #sun #landscape #sunrise #flow #magical #light #reflection #waterfalls #nature

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 7:15 AM What a sensuous image of sunrise. The choice of using a slow shutter speed to make this photograph is used beautifully, softening the powerful flow ... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    This also at Grand Central. The commuters are rushing in the morning in a dancing style. This sho...

    #life

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 7:34 AM This photograph has taken the frenzy of the morning rush hour, and transformed it to a moment of beautifully choreographed dance. The silhouettes a... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Magic light of nature candle. The first rays of the sunlight touches the spiders web and turned h...

    #light #weather #wild #sunrisethismorning #sunlight #travel #magic

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 8:12 AM While the quality of light is so important in photography, timing is everything. And that lesson is clearly shown here in this lovely image of a sp... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    I took this shot in my home in Argos at 9:40 in the morning.Its an old solar clock with a compass

    #sun #solar #reflection #black_and_white #old #compass #morning #clock

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 9:40 AM Time is certainly the subject of this photograph of an antique solar clock. The atmosphere captured in this frame give it the appearance of a black-... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    It's 10:01am. Even though he's already lived over 103 years in his lifetime, he still gets to ha...

    #haircut

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 10:01AM One could say that this is a picture about the cutting of hair – but it is also about circles - with many of them hovering around the center of this ... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    On an exhilarating skiing trip to Laponia (which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996) i...

    #unesco #sun #winter #saltoluokta #earthcanvas #weather #sundogs #laponia #adventure #nature

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 11:15 AM The backlit bare trees with the glow of a sundog above them create both an eerie and magical effect. This is a thermal image – in which we can almos... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Two young ladies and two men stand waiting on the side of a decommissioned train that used to car...

    #winter #time #city #japan #tokyo #blackandwhite #street #portrait #people #photography #travel

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 1:47 PM The notion of a “waiting game” is intelligently captured in this photograph. The gestures and expressions of the four people biding their time, ... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Clicked at 3PM 20 Dec 2016, at a busy street in Dubai, where arts are done along few buildings, i...

    #juxtaposition #afternoon #3pm #dubai #dailydozen #street #pictureoftheday

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 3:00 PM The woman walking on this street in Dubai had no idea she was about to become a piece of a photographic puzzle – a “decisive moment.” However, the... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Kids sometime fall asleep in classrooms and this time its the birthday girl. Picture taken while ...

    #colour #colour_splash #classroom #kids #birthday_girl #birthday #girl #slow_shutter

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 2:45 PM This moment of time is captured so beautifully, with the contrast of stillness and movement. This photograph transcends the reality of a classroom an... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Algebra. The word sends shivers down my spine. The enthusiasm with which Ryan approaches it speak...

    #hard_work #child #school #portrait #black__and_white #people #culture #girl

    Editor's Note

    This beautiful black-and-white photograph, captured with soft light – turns a moment of the dreaded homework hour into an expressive portrait. Yes, indeed, it looks like she would rather be doing ... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    A rickshaw-puller takes a nap in the afternoon as he seems to be too tired. Parking is not permit...

    #exploring_time #street #kolkata #india

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 4:55 PM There are some wonderful contrasts in this photograph of an afternoon nap. The man, in a colorful shirt, is asleep in a monochromatic environment.... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    A Monk meditate under flower ray of the sun through the windows in a temple at Bagan. I want to s...

    #flower_ray #vietnam #myanmar #monk #nguyenquocai #bagan #meditation #innerlight

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 5:00 PM There is so much magic, mystery and atmosphere in this picture. The monk is almost hidden in the ethereal smoke, and it is the reward of spending ti... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Mesmerizing sand art made by a retreating tide on the sandy beach in Ngapali Myanmar made especia...

    #time #tolkien #myanmar #sand #beach #tide #ngapali_beach #trees

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 5:15 PM What is so striking about this image is the temporal sand rendering of an imaginary forest – a wonderful metaphor indeed. It’s fantastic that you ... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Wonderful light at Oceanário de Lisboa, at 6pm

    #portugal #light #street

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 6:00 PM Inside an aquarium, in a world of packaged nature, time takes on an otherworldly quality. The woman explores a world of wonderment, with beams of... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    "Like a lantern in the night.Nowhere to hide.You’ve never seen me shine so bright as I do tonight...

    #abstract #dancers #recital_2017 #portrait #people

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 7:00 PM This evening dance recital is precisely captured at a moment of exquisite choreography, gesture, and light. Magically the lantern draws our attenti... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    The flower in the morning, with a vision of what it will be at night. Picture taken in one shot :...

    #shadow #ageing #dark_side_of_the_moon #flower #appearance

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 8:00 PM This is a quirky interpretation of the passing of time - humorous, poignant, and inventive. It is beautifully made with simple elements, and dram... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Night view of thousand houses at Larung Gar Buddhist Academy at 9:49pm

    #landscape #wuming #larunggar #nightview #time #nightphotography #buddhist #urban

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 9:49 PM There is an even distribution of forms and colors throughout the entire frame, and a very pleasing one at that. We often are taught that in phot... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Late returns... Somewhere in Poland / 13.05.2016 @ 22:14

    #night #weloveourpets #nighttime #child #children #travel #car

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 10:14 PM What wonderful worlds are contained within the frame of this photograph. Transparency and reflection blur together in a vision of this child’s drea... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    Monoliths tower above a stargazer as a spectacular Milky Way galaxy rotates overhead in Utah's ot...

    #capitol_reef_national_park

    Editor's Note

    Image Time: 11:53 PM This monumental picture encapsulates so much about time. We humans are but a small part of the vastness of geologic time, and occupy but a minusc... More

    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers

    About the Editor
    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
    National Geographic Photographers
    Diane Cook and Len Jenshel are two of America's foremost landscape photographers, exploring issues of beauty, boundary, culture, and the control of nature. They were married in 1983 and began collaborating in 1990. They have worked for many magazines, published numerous books, and are the recipients of many prestigious awards ...

    Photographers Published In the Story